February 27th, 2012
04:04 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum: High gas prices caused the recession

Lansing, Michigan (CNN) - Rick Santorum argued Monday that it was high gas prices, not dubious lending practices or complex Wall Street trades, which torpedoed the housing market in 2008 and brought on the current prolonged economic slump.

The Republican presidential candidate made the claim at a campaign event in Lansing, Michigan while accusing President Barack Obama of blocking the expansion of domestic energy production.

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"We need to look at the situation with gas prices today," Santorum said. "We went into a recession in 2008 because of gasoline prices. The bubble burst in housing because people couldn't pay their mortgages because they were looking at $4 a gallon gasoline."

"Look at what happened," Santorum continued. "Economic decline. Here we are again. Trying to struggle out of a recession with Barack Obama and the federal government on the backs of business, not letting them grow. And now we have energy prices again, why? Because of government policy."

After the event, however, Santorum sought to clarify his remarks with reporters and described gas prices as a "factor" in the crisis, not necessarily the cause.

"I said that that was a factor. I'm sorry. I will make sure that I will be much more specific when I talk about it," Santorum said.

Asked if he misspoke, Santorum replied: "Energy prices were spiking up in the summer of 2008 and that was a factor."

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Filed under: 2012 • gas prices • Michigan • Rick Santorum
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. dagoberto

    Rick, just shut up and go home. We are sick of morons like you. PLEASE GO HOME.

    February 27, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    He's right. It triggered it when high fuel prices drained thousands from peoples pockets and the economy. And it will do it again now. Democrats are complete fools not to understand that for every cent the price of gas goes up, $1 BILLION a year more goes overseas. Do the math. The longer higher prices are maintained, the more certain an economic downturn becomes. Obama is playing with fire.

    February 27, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. Axel123

    Sorry 15,000 miles typo

    February 27, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. Linda

    Obama 2012.........this man is handing the next four years to our President, which is fine with me because Santorum and Romney will completely ruin this country.......

    February 27, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. gfpf

    Shortsightedness, stupidity, and greed caused the recession. Not one single factor caused the crisis.

    February 27, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. Ordnry1

    Where are the best and brightest Republicans? Do something or else you'll lose the election.

    February 27, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. Emmy Skaddittle

    wow, this makes absolutely no sense what so ever

    February 27, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. Joi Gibson

    Is this guy for real? Now that is quite possibly one of the dumbest things yet to come out of his mouth.

    OBAMA/BIDEN/FIRST LADY MICHELLE 2012

    February 27, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. s

    Truth you must be CHURCH FREAK also

    February 27, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. Veritas

    Um, I suspect it was adjustable rate mortgages suddenly kicking in and people not being able to refinance causing defaults in the mortgage industry. This lead to 401k accounts crumbling because mortgage conduits had the mortgages all bundled up into nice little investment packages. Which lead to more people not being able to afford their mortages, leading to more defaults and on and on. Like a virus, it spread around to many businesses and industries. Gee, trickle down economics does work! Huh, I don't see gas prices in there any where.

    February 27, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. S.positive

    President Obama will be re-elected in Nov 2012

    February 27, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Mom to 3

    Wow, talk about CLUELESS! Typical Republican, when they don't like the facts they make up their own. Not enough regulation caused the current recession, but of course the Republicans do not want to admit that since they are currently calling for even less regulation (which would only cause more problems and not create any jobs either). So, the GOP blames the recession on "the government forcing banks to give poor people mortgages" which is not remotely accurate and now this - "high gas prices." If you want real solutions vote Democrat, the Republicans live in their own la-la land where everything is somehow President Obama's fault and cutting taxes for the rich and getting rid of regulations solves all problems.

    February 27, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Cyrus

    My 3 year old son understands economics better than you do.

    February 27, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. al in memphis

    This only confirms how great of a job the banks/wall street did in passing the blame onto someone else. Mr. Rick you've got the wrong people giving you information. When business could not access money to pay short term debt and payroll, guess what– you've got yourself one huge slowdown. Some people could not pay their mortgages because the banks would only qualify them in loans that adjusted upward after 3-5 years and they would end up with payments going up every six months to a level they could not afford. That would force people to refinance and give the banks another shot at charging ridiculious bank fees every 3-5 years.

    Banks/wall street – 2
    Working people – 0

    February 27, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. RINO Bil

    ... and corporate greed on the part of Big Oil caused excessively high gas prices.

    February 27, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. Steve in OH

    Sometimes I think he already lives on the moon.

    February 27, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. maggie

    Santorum's delusion knows no end.

    February 27, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. koolman

    So by your logic rick, bush jr must have been on the back of business too. This guy lives in a fanatical fantasyland. What an idiot!

    February 27, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    I just want to point out here how presumptuous we Americans are by assuming that we, without any background in economics whatsoever, know more about the economy than people with PhDs in the subject. Experts have agreed that the downturn was caused by the housing bubble. Let's learn to show their effort and years of study some respect.

    February 27, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. Jane

    @Truth(?) – – what Cyrus said. That statement applies equally to you and to Mr. Sanctimonious. In spades.

    February 27, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    Wow, I think Santorum has an even bigger lack of oxygen than truth does. The real fools are those that don't recognise the effect of factors beyond the office of POTUS on the price of gas, like Iranian posturing. The gas price surge began during the Bush years, and people made the same dire predictions when it hit $2 a gallon. Gotta love that apocolyptic streak in the GOP while they cheerfully ignore their own role in creating these problems. Hey its typical rightie solutions, blame the people actually trying to create policies that solve problems instead of lining the pockets of CEOs with brass.

    February 27, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. Valentina

    Gawd... Please someone have the courage and remove this clown from the national stage as he doesn't belong there. Santorum is not ready for primetime and he is an embarrassment to the Republican Party – he is the guy that is trying to marginalize the GOP to oblivion, but we should thank Rush, Hannity, Levin, Palin, and Bill Kristol for encouraging him – and that's coming from a fiscal and social conservative.

    February 27, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. jlf

    OMG!!!!! a ridiculous untruth by a desperate candidate...where did this latest blunder evolve from. this just goes to show you that is a very dillusional,unbalanced indiviual who will stop at nothing to gain the Presidency.

    February 27, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. rs

    Please check Mr. Santorum for drug abuse. He is clearly delusional.

    February 27, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. BLKMANinAmerica

    Can you say "YET ANOTHER REPUK WHO JUST DOSEN'T KEEP UP WITH THE TIME". This is what the repuks have to offer America.........................................LIERS, DENY DENY DENY, LIERS. If what he says is true then the "recession" would had hit in 2006. STUPIDO!

    February 27, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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